By and large, reality shows are crap. The last thing I want to see is a singing or dancing competition, or some housewives bitch-slapping each other over a sweet-16 party gone awry. But this is a reality show I can get behind: One set on Mars.
No kidding. A Dutch entrepreneur by the name of Bas Lansdorp is attempting to raise money in order to serve two purposes: Colonize Mars and provide really entertaining television. The idea is a reality show that would initially vote on four astronauts to take a trip to space. The reality show would then follow them into space, where they would become the first humans to ever inhabit another planet.
The catch, and what makes the idea terrifically intriguing television? Because the technology is not there yet, the astronauts would never be able to return. Basically, they would have to courageously sacrifice their lives and move to Mars permanently. The cameras would follow their lives as Mars colonist until they died.
There are obviously a lot of obstacles in the way. Foremost is the price tag. Lansdorp thinks it can do it for $6 billion, but when the most recent shuttle launch to the moon ran up a price tag twice that, obviously, some are skeptical. Who will they find to fund the project? Moreover, the television show would run the course of at least ten years, and it’s hard to predict where technology would be a decade from now, not to mention the fact that our modern technology may not hold up in space over the course of four astronauts’ lifetimes.
If it happens — and that’s obviously a huge if — it would be the most ambitious television show of all time, and with real life-and-death stakes at play — not to mention the possibility of getting a manned-look at another planet — it could also be the most compelling.